THE ARTISTS DEVISING AGREEMENT:

 

  • Every member is willingly entering into an unknowable, new experience. The level of uncertainty does not improve with the number of times one has worked in this method. It is a feature, not a bug. I (or the project leader) fully inform all collaborators about this fact before every creative process.

 

  • We agree to examine every person’s suggestion to the satisfaction of the person who suggests it. 

 

  • We agree that every member of the ensemble has the ability to insist on including or excluding certain materials, process, or method. It will then be the ensemble’s job to find a way to honor this request while satisfying each person’s aesthetics and emotional needs.

 

  • We agree that a good member of the ensemble is judicious about how frequently and how strongly they insist on moving the work toward a certain direction, and that most members of the ensemble are somewhere in the middle, most of the time. 

 

  • We agree that the idea of ensembles and soloists are just tools to serve the expressive goal. No one is more or less important. Respect is earned by demonstrated behavior. 

 

  • We agree that this work of art is not outside of us, but rather, an expression of every person involved. Our compatibility in art-making is determined by whether we can arrive at satisfying solutions to artistic problems peacefully. 

 

  • We agree that we all take responsibility in the success of this collaboration by investing in personal growth. 

 

  • We agree to be champions of other people’s ideas, while also being good shepherds of ours and their physical and emotional health. 

 

  • Everyone is asked to bring their authentic personal and artistic self to the table to serve the work we are to create. Risk-taking and vulnerability-sharing is constantly required by every person, both implicitly and explicitly.

 

  • Our artistic culture is demonstrated by the personal conduct and affirmation offered by me, and collaborators who return to this process year after year to create new works.

 

THE CREATIVE PROCESS: 

  • I (or the project leader) provide prompts and the basic container (format) of the work, and accompanying musical score, script, text, poem, and images. 

 

  • I (or the project leader) brief everyone on the material and time constraints of the project.

 

  • These prompts and materials are used as suggestions and guides. We will then strive to transform these guiding materials through our collective lenses. We often take on and refine something new and unfamiliar as individuals and as an ensemble.

 

  • Generally, we live together, cook together, and share communal rehearsal space for the duration of the project. We also participate in community activities where we reside.

 

  • Schedule is negotiated and devised every day as the project evolves. 

 

  • I (or the project leader) organize our ideas and coordinate rehearsals and dialogues between the artists involved in creating the work. 

 

  • Most projects have desired structural outcomes (a container, such as: concert, performance, album, video) but the expression and esthetic of these outcomes are developed and negotiated through the co-creation of the work. 

 

  • We establish emotional safety through past collaborations, structured connection-building activities, informal gatherings, meal-sharing, musical and physical games, formal and informal negotiations. 

 

  • The process is collaborative but not democratic. I (or the project leader) take the burden and responsibility of the “success” of the final project as defined by my (or the project leader's) artistic statement.